UFC 251: Prelims Preview

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It’s time. Fight Island now approaches. The first of four cards which takes place in Abu Dhabi on Sat, July 11 for UFC 251. Fight fans will be tuning in from all over the globe to watch this unique but special experience unfold. The card is stacked from top to bottom with Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman putting his belt on the line against The “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal after Gilbert Burns unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. Don’t miss UFC 251.



Firstly a fight of this caliber being on the prelims shows you how solid this card is. Former RIZIN Champion Jiri Prochazka will make his official UFC debut on July 11 taking on former title challenger and heavy hitter Volkan Oezdemir.

Jiří Procházka (26-3-1) is currently riding an 11 fight winning streak which dates back to 2016. The Czech Republic native signed with the UFC last year following the end of his Rizin contract. Leaving the promotion as the Rizin Light Heavyweight Champion, Prochazka feels he has more to accomplish and with a win over Oezdemir he will certainly do that.

Volkan Oezdemir (17-4) on the other hand will step inside the octagon on a two-fight winning streak of his own earning two victories over Ilir Latifi and Aleksandar Rakić last year. The Swiss international exploded on to the scene picking up three wins in 2017 earning him a shot at Daniel Cormier’s title. Since the loss to Cormier, Oezdemir found himself struggling taking two further losses to Anthony Smith and Dominick Reyes. Since then the 30-year-old has seemed to find his feet again.


Apr 14, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Muslim Salikhov (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Ricky Rainey (not shown) during UFC Fight Night at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A Welterweight bout that will definitely live up to the hype. Two warriors who are willing to trade will be in the centre of the octagon to throw leather.

Elizeu Zaleski (22-6) has been competing at the highest level since 2015 solidifying an (8-2) record inside the UFC. Last year seen the Brazilian’s impressive 7 fight winning streak end when finished by Jingliang Li. Since then he’s found himself back in the win column with a win over Alexey Kunchenko in his home country.

Muslim Salikhov (16-2) comes into the matchup with 3 back to back wins over Ricky Rainey, Nordine Taleb and Laureano Staropoli with two being by knockout. A majestic turn around after losing his UFC debut in China.


This next bout consists of a Featherweight matchup between ‘Mr Finland’ and Danny Henry of Scotland. Two athletes who are desperate to find themselves back in the winning bracket.

Makwan Amirkhani (15-4) hasn’t competed since November after falling victim to a TKO loss over Shane Burgos at UFC 244. Makwan was expected to return to action at UFC London in March against Liverpool’s Mike Grundy. However, the event was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Danny Henry (12-3) when bursting on to the scene in 2017 looked like he was going to be a real title challenger in the Featherweight division but since then has had a minor set back. The Hatchet’s first two appearances in the UFC couldn’t have gone better with wins over Daniel Teymur and Hakeem Dawodu. The Scotsman’s last outing inside the octagon at the start of 2019 seen him caught with the rear naked choke of Dan Ige.


We kick of the prelims with some Lightweight action. 40 year old Leonardo Santos welcomes undefeated Russian Roman Bogatov to the UFC.

Leonardo Santos (17-3-1) doesn’t need much of an introduction. The record speaks for itself. The Brazilian is yet to taste defeat in his last 12 outings. Over the years has seen the career of Santos slow down a bit due to cancelled bouts and injuries. His last performance was a memorable one with a spectacular first round win over Scotland’s Stevie Ray.

Roman Bogatov (10-0) is yet to taste defeat in 13 overall bouts from amateur until now. The Russian is a submission specialist and will be a great addition to the UFC’s Lightweight division. Eight out of Bogatov’s 10 bouts have taken place at ‘M-1 Challenge’ submitting five of his opponents early on.

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